Tusker – Refresh your roots

So i had written this article a while back about the Tusker ad and i saw it on Citizen jana during TPF 4 and i thought i do need to share my thoughts on the ad. So here are my thoughts…


East African Breweries Ltd is East Africa’s leading branded alcohol beverage business and has an outstanding collection of beer and spirits brands. With breweries, distilleries, support industries and a distribution network across the region, the group’s diversity is an important factor in delivering the highest quality brands to East African consumers and long-term value to East African investors. With an annual turnover of Kshs 30 Billion EABL has the largest share of the beer industry in the region.

Tusker lager, EABL’s flagship brand has been positioned as Kenya’s favourite beer brand and has been a constant advertiser over the years. From the campaigns positioning Tusker as the pride of Kenyan’s during the infamous beer wars with Castle to one of Kenya’s trooping through Nairobi city streets in celebration. In the last year, they have had quite a wide range of sponsorships with the last one being the just concluded Tusker Project Fame.

In the new campaign, we open on 2 young guys dressed in the 70’s walking down a street and pop into a pub. They walk in and order a beer, a Tusker lager and we see as one of them and a girl get onto the stage to dance, some 60’s moves. The scene changes to the 70’s and we see a different guy and girl in different clothes doing the Twist in the same pub. The scene changes to the 80’s and we see as the dance style changes to breakdance with the disco lights illuminating the dance floor.

We then move to the present day where the whole crowd is dancing akin to what we find in night clubs today throwing their hands in the air and moving their bodies to the rhythm. We see them buying and drinking thier favourite beer, Tusker lager. The V/O comes in at this point and says “100% African ingredients, 100% African inspiration. Tusker Refresh your roots.”  The ad ends with a shot of the bottle as it has changed through the years to what it is now. The campaign has also been translated into press and billboard ads which show how things have changed through the years in terms of football etc, and also sponsor boards on DSTV.

We have grown accustomed to expecting a new campaign from Tusker every 2 years or so and over the years, the new campaign has been better than the last one. Sadly this one doesn’t match up for me, and I think we have lost the uniqueness that made the Tusker Kenyan. Don’t get me wrong, I think this ad works, just not for the Kenyan market as I feel it’s too generic and doesn’t bring the uniqueness in Tusker as a brand that we are all used to. My question is why should we be subjected to generic advertising like the rest of Africa yet we have been interacting with Tusker as a brand for more than 70 years? I feel as a Kenyan proud of Tusker as my beer, the communication needs to make sense to be as i dont care if it talks to the rest of the world. In my opinion, this ad should have never run here, at all.



8 thoughts on “Tusker – Refresh your roots

  1. I agree that the ad is too generic and not ownable to tusker. but everyone’s not trying to touch Kenyans’ patriotic nerve and the danger of that is that we may end up with very similar ads for different brands.
    I think the idea behind this ad is to set the brand apart from its competitors in the market, a lot of who we are bound to see more of. they needed to establish themselves as a brewer with a long heritage and i think this ad does exactly that. I, of course stand corrected 🙂

    • i agree with you but look at the amazing advertising Tusker has had over the years without it necessarily having to be patriotic. i feel with this ad they completely lost the plot, and if it was an ad for other markets it works. This ad in the context of TP4 falls flat coz i feel the target audience wont be jazzed by it at all.

  2. I get why this Ad concept was necessary for the rest of Africa but I totally agree that we shouldn’t be subjected to an Africa-wide campaign especially when we’ve been loyal all these years. The best campaign for me was “My Country; My Beer” if there is anyway that campaign can be refreshed for consumption in 2011/12 it would be worth interacting with again.

  3. @ Wambui, maybe if we had an idea what the brief was we’d understand why they decided to go this direction. i’ll try and find out and let you know.

    • @Douglas totally agree it would be good to have the brief that was logged in, and perhaps @BK we could do that for all Ads that you analyze so that we are discussing in context.

      I heard rumors that the concept for this Ad was done in London?

      • It might take some time for me to get the brief since i’ve just realised i don’t know anyone in the agency that was involved. But BK, as Wambui says, would it be possible to have the briefs of the ads we analyze?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s